December is always a really busy season at the Ulster Hall and this year has been no exception. We’ve been up to our ears in Carol Services, festive Christmas movies and all manner of “special” festive events, (i.e. regular events adapted to include mulled wine and Reindeer jumpers). I’m pretty knackered and just about ready to put Fairytale Of New York out to pasture for another year and move on to a different season. In the midst of all the bedlam I’ve had a couple of nice wee publications and wanted to let you know about them.
Earlier in the year I collaborated with a visual artist and old friend Sarah Poots who, although based in London has been exhibiting her beautiful painting in the CCA Derry for the month of December. Alongside other writers including the poet Jack Underwood I got to contribute a short story, “Hibernation” written in response to Sarah’s exhibition, “Can Be Used Over and Over.” The pamphlet of writing which compliments the exhibition is absolutely gorgeous and it was a further treat to get to road trip up to Derry to read at the exhibition launch last Friday. If you’re in or around Derry before the New Year, be sure to pop into CCA and check out the exhibition.
I was also delighted to have a piece of flash fiction, “Jesus Haircut” included in RTE’s short story collection, “100 Words, 100 Books” published last weekend by O’Brien press. All the stories included in the book are between 100 and 200 words long and are an eclectic bunch and a great way to spend a coffee break. There’s a snippet from my story below and the full collection can be purchased from O’Brien Press’ Website www.obrien.ie
This weekend I was also really chuffed to have Malcolm Orange Disappears included in two different Best of 2014 Books. Please check out these excellent blogs and maybe pick up some of the other books nominated here as they’ve definitely made a dent in my intended reading for 2015 list. (www.headstuff.org and www.americanauthor.tumblr.com). Massive thanks to Orla McAlinden and Lizzie Maguire for their kind words and ongoing support throughout this whirlwind of the year. And now, back to the writing, with a full ten days away from the Hall over Christmas I’m intending to have a first draft of Roundabouts ready to start editing by the end of January, (I might also sleep a little and catch up on my novel-reading and maybe have a few drinks by the fire and watch a few episodes of Casualty and eat some good cheese and…..)